No one likes a liar. Whether it’s a simple white lie or a life-altering deception, dishonesty is hurtful for everyone involved. Especially when someone you love pretends to be something or someone they are not. Catching someone in a lie can be a pretty messy experience, but in most cases returning to honesty is for the best. A recent study conducted in Australia uncovered a lie told by someone no one could have expected…the honey bee.
Recent Discovery Of Adulterated Honey
Actually, honey bees aren’t the true culprit of this nasty lie. As far as we’re concerned bees are always true to their word. Er, their buzz. The issue is actually with commercial honey manufacturers producing adulterated honey.
Four Australian researchers organized a study to find out just how dishonest honey manufacturers could be. Using honey samples from 19 countries spanning Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania, these researchers found that 27% of the batches sampled contained questionable ingredients. In other words, while the label simply stated “honey”, the actual contents proved there was more to the story. (1)
Uncovering Phony Honey
Another study done in Germany found similar results. The standard method for testing the contents of commercial honey is the C4 sugar test, which is meant to find the honey’s source of sugar. Finding the sugar source is useful in detecting adulterated honey that contains corn syrup or other artificial sweeteners. However, this test isn’t able to detect new sweeteners made from rice, wheat, or beet syrup. This is why researchers in Germany tried using a new kind of test called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). (2, 3)
NMR allows researchers to test for any kind of impurities within a substance. This new NMR test found 12 out of 28 honey samples to contain something other than pure honey. And the scariest part is, all 28 samples had passed the standard C4 sugar test. That’s almost 50% of commercial honey brands trying to pass off an artificial sweetener such as rice syrup, wheat syrup, or sugar beet syrup as honey! What a load of beeswax. (2)
How To Avoid Adulterated Honey
This news might sting a bit and make you want to swear off honey forever. But don’t give up just yet! Honey has incredible benefits that you really don’t want to miss out on. Honey may protect against throat infections, asthma, fatigue, eczema, ulcers, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and gastrointestinal issues. Those busy little bees really know what they’re doing! (4)
So how do you get these benefits without getting tricked into buying adulterated honey? Here are a few tips.
1. Read The Label
As recent studies have shown us, labels can be misleading. However, checking the ingredients list for any extra flavors or sweeteners can help you avoid purchasing something that’s not pure honey.
2. Check The Price
I love a good deal as much as the next shopper, but the price can actually tell you a lot about a product. Artificial sweeteners are cheaper to produce than pure honey. So if the honey is cheaper, chances are that bear-shaped bottle is hiding something.
3. Buy From Local Bee Farmers
Again, buying from a local bee farmer is often more expensive than anything you can get at the grocery store. But the chances of you finding pure, raw honey is much greater as well. Many people also find the flavor to be unique and much more enjoyable.
After all the hard work those black and yellow insects do to make glorious honey, it hurts to know that some people would rather swap it out for something fake. But all that bumblebee labor doesn’t have to go to waste! Keep an eye on the labels and prices, and try to find a local bee farmer whenever possible in order to get that pure, honest honey.